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Standing behind Trump, Chris Christie looked like someone stole his puppy



Aaron Sankin


Posted on Mar 2, 2016   Updated on May 27, 2021, 3:44 am CDT

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie didn’t seem to be particularly happy to be introducing 2016 Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump on Tuesday night.

Rather than ebulliently singing the praises of the next president of the United States on the occasion of the reality TV star’s victories in at least six Super Tuesday state primaries—which is what one would expect a person to do in this situation—Christie appeared to be on the verge of tears.

Christie, who dropped out of the presidential race early last month following a disappointing in the New Hampshire primary, endorsed Trump last week.

“Trump has shown himself to be tough and strong and bold,” Christie said, spiritlessly reading from a prepared speech, his eyes listlessly focused somewhere in the middle distance. “He has shown himself to be a fighter. A leader who speaks plainly to the American people. He has listened to the American people. The American people are listening to him. And he is bringing the country together. That, ladies and gentlemen, is not a campaign, it’s a movement.”

Moments later, standing in the background as Trump spoke, Christie’s mood did not seem to improve.

Instead, one might say, his face betrayed the existential dread of someone slowly coming to terms with the enormity of what they had done.

Christie’s endorsement of Trump is significant in that he is the first major sitting politician in the Republican party to back Trump’s candidacy. As the party establishment attempts to unite against Trump, Christie’s defection provides cover for other figures on the right who see a Trump nomination as inevitable to get on good terms with a potential Trump administration—maybe leading to, let’s say, an attorney general appointment for the former federal prosecutor.

Following his endorsement of Trump, a coalition of a half-dozen newspapers in Christie’s home state of New Jersey issued a joint editorial calling on the governor to resign due not only to his endorsement of Trump but also his chronic absenteeism: Christie spent 261 days out of state last year during his unsuccessful bid for the GOP nomination.

“We’re fed up with Gov. Chris Christie’s arrogance. … We’re fed up with his opportunism. We’re fed up with his hypocrisy,” the papers’ editorial boards wrote. “For the good of the state, it’s time for Christie to do his long-neglected constituents a favor and resign as governor. If he refuses, citizens should initiate a recall effort.”

Judging by an exchange caught on a microphone during a Trump–Christie event a few days ago, Trump has a pretty good idea over who holds the power in this relationship.

On Twitter, many believe Christie’s face conveys that his campaiging for Trump is a bridge too far. Then, of course, they turned it into a hashtag: #FreeChrisChristie

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And perhaps the most poignant one of all:

Have fun going to sleep tonight, Chris. Sweet dreams.

Screencap via ABC News/YouTube

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*First Published: Mar 2, 2016, 1:26 am CST